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25 Stylish Ideas for Decorating Behind Your Couch

25 Stylish Ideas for Decorating Behind Your Couch

The Art of Home: Begin with Behind the Couch

In many homes, the wall space behind your couch ends up being where the statement piece of decor is displayed. Even if the couch is on the smaller side, this still leaves quite a large open space that can't be filled with other furniture. Instead, the options are between different types of decor. We think this is a great spot to hang a statement piece, something to really draw viewers in and give them a place to start when exploring your decor. You've got quite a few options here, whether it is hanging one large print to completely fill the space, or creating a gallery wall to display multiple pieces in a unique way. In order to help get you started on deciding what to do with the space above your couch, we've put together this list of 25 ideas to help to create a beautiful display in your home. 

A living room with neutral decor and two prints displayed with gold frames above the couch

Practical Tips for Decorating Behind the Couch

Before we explore the myriad decorative possibilities, let’s start with some practical tips that will help you ensure your wall decor is beautiful, well-planned, and maintained.

Installation Advice

Proper installation is crucial to ensure your wall decor is secure and visually appealing. Start by selecting the proper hardware for your wall type—drywall screws and anchors for plaster walls or toggle bolts for hollow walls. Consider the weight and size of the piece to determine the appropriate hanging method; when in doubt, overestimate! It's much better to get hardware rated to handle more weight than needed than to use hardware that is insufficient and causes your display to fall from the wall. Securing heavy items into a stud is best, while adhesive strips may suffice for lighter objects. And of course, make sure to double- or triple-check your measurements! Make sure you've correctly found the centerpoint above your couch, and that you are hanging your piece high enough to leave some breathing room between the couch and the art.

Maintenance Tips

Don't skip over your wall decor in your cleaning routine! Like anything else, it can gather dust and dirt over time. To clean your canvas prints, make sure you avoid and chemical or traditional cleaning supplies. All you need is a damp cloth, preferably with distilled water, but tap water will also do just fine. Wipe gently to remove dust from the surface. 

To clean framed paper prints, you can use any streak free glass cleaning. Just make sure to not let the liquid drip between the glass and the bottom of the frame to avoid any moisture getting inside the frame. To be extra careful, you can spray your cleaning cloth/paper towel, rather than directly spraying the frame. 

Budget Considerations

Decorating doesn't have to break the bank. Explore budget-friendly options like DIY projects, thrift store finds, or digital prints that can be framed economically. Premade frames are available in a range of sizes that won't put you overbudget.  Consider investing more in timeless pieces you love rather than spending on trendy items that might go out of style. Keep an eye out for sales or discounts from your favorite home decor shops, and don’t shy away from upcycling or refurbishing old items for a fresh new look.

Space Planning

Before you decide what you want to buy and display above your couch, take some measurements! Ensure that the scale of the wall art complements the size of your couch and the overall room. A small piece on a large wall might look lost, while an overly large piece might overwhelm the space. Use painter's tape to outline potential artwork placement to help you visualize the space and adjust as needed. This can save you from putting extra holes in the walls while you figure out exact placement. 

Two framed pieces of artwork hanging above a green couch in a colorful living room

Framing Techniques

Your frame choice can make or break your display. They can either enhance the artwork they contain, or detract from it. Try to choose frames that complement the artwork as well as your room's overall decor. Choosing frames that include a mat can provide a border that helps the artwork stand out, creating greater visual impact.

Before you start frame shopping, consider these key factors.  Additionally, explore various framing options for paper prints to enhance and protect your artwork effectively.

Gallery Wall Guide

A gallery wall above your couch can tell a compelling story through a collection of different pieces. When it comes to creating a gallery wall, the options are truly endless. You can create a very uniform grid style display, or take a more eclectic approach and and mix together different styles and sizes. We typically recommend laying out your pieces on the floor to get an idea of how the overall display will look. Check out our step-by-step tutorial on creating a gallery wall for more detailed guidance. 

A mockup of a gallery wall, featuring 7 framed paper print reproductions of vintage photographs, hanging above a couch

Top 25 Ideas for What to Hang Behind Your Couch

Artistic and Photographic Displays

  1. Large-Scale Art Pieces

The easiest way to create a statement piece in your decor is to choose a large-scale print or artwork. This piece will command the space, drawing viewers in. Our collection of vintage photographs includes a number of pieces that can be printed up to 50" on the long dimension, perfect for making a statement in your home. 

  1. Abstract Art

Abstract artwork works wonderfully as part of your behind-the-couch decor, adding a touch of modern style and intrigue. These pieces often use bold colors and shapes that can stimulate imagination and conversation. When selecting an abstract piece, consider the emotions or moods you want to evoke in your space. The colors and styles used in abstract artwork have a significant impact on the emotional resonance of the piece. 

  1. Vintage Photography

Consider vintage photography as your art form above the couch for a touch of elegance and nostalgia. Black and white photos of landscapes, cityscapes, or historical figures can add a timeless quality to your living room. Consider having your vintage photographs custom framed with vintage-style frame moulding to complement them. 

  1. Personal Photography

Making your space more personal can be as simple as hanging framed personal photographs. Choose your favorite memories—family photos, travel snapshots, or individual achievements. This makes the space unique and surrounds you with moments you cherish, making the area behind your couch truly yours. Each time you view your photographs, you'll be reminded of those good memories. 

One large framed print hung above a beige couch

Textural and Dimensional Decor

  1. Tapestry and Textiles

Textiles can add a soft texture and warmth to the space above your sofa. Choose a tapestry or a handmade quilt that complements your room’s color scheme. Hanging fabrics can also help in dampening sound in rooms with hard flooring, and is a great opportunity to create a unique display. 

  1. Sculptural Elements

Introduce some dimension to the space above your couch with sculptural elements. This could be metal art pieces, wooden carvings, or any three-dimensional art that stands out from the wall, adding depth and interest to your viewing experience. Artwork like this can be tricky to find, so we'd suggest looking into any art and craft festivals that your area might have. These can be a great way to explore the work of all kinds of artists and find a unique piece for your space. 

  1. DIY Textural Art

Create your textural art for a fun project and a unique decor piece. Use materials like canvas, fabric, buttons, or wood scraps. Paint over them or arrange them in a collage for a one-of-a-kind piece that’s both affordable and special. This can be a great option for families, as you can make it a fun activity to do with kids of all ages. 

Thematic and Cultural Expressions

  1. Cultural Art

Celebrate your heritage or an interest in a particular culture with art pieces that reflect it. This might include traditional crafts, framed cultural garments, or art prints that showcase cultural stories or landscapes. You can work with a professional custom framer to help you find the best way to display these items.  

  1. Music-Inspired Art

If music is your passion, reflect it in your decor with art that features musical elements. Think of framed vintage concert posters, custom paintings of favorite instruments and artists, or even using old records to create a gallery wall. Explore our collection of music-inspired art that is perfect for creating a music centered display; perfect for showcasing your love of music in a visually appealing way.

  1. Cinematic Posters

For movie buffs, displaying cinematic posters behind the sofa that celebrate your favorite films is a great option. As these posters are typically vertical, and fairly long, you will likely be able to hang several posters in the space above your couch. Choose classic or modern movie posters and frame them in a cohesive style to turn your living room into a personal theater space. 

Three framed prints hanging above a blue couch
  1. Seasonal Themes

Switch up your decor with the seasons to keep your living space fresh and inspiring. Use lighter, airy pieces for spring and summer and richer, deeper tones for fall and winter. Seasonal changes can include themed art prints, color schemes, or holiday-specific decorations.

  1. Eco-Friendly Choices

Make a positive impact with eco-friendly decor options. Look for art made from recycled materials or support local artists who use sustainable practices, rather than purchasing from big-box stores. Not only does this help the environment, but it also adds a story to your home decor.

Functional and Creative Solutions

  1. Mirrors

Adding mirrors behind the couch can transform the look and feel of your living room. Mirrors help to make smaller spaces look larger and brighter by reflecting light and the room itself. Choose exciting shapes or ornate frames to add an artistic touch, or go for a large, simple mirror for a more understated elegance. Another option is to find an array of mirrors in different shapes and styles and create a unique display with them. 

  1. Functional Shelves
A rendering of a photogrpah of two yellow planes framed and sitting on a table

Shelves aren’t just for storage—they can also be part of your behind-the-couch decor. Install shelves to display a mix of items like books, plants, small sculptures, or framed photographs. This adds variety to your wall decor and allows you to change the display easily whenever you want a new look or find a new piece you want to display.

  1. Interactive Art

Interactive art pieces, such as magnetic poetry boards, chalkboard paint, or pinboards invite creativity and change. These can be great for families, allowing everyone to contribute to the decor. It's a fun way to keep your living space dynamic and engaging, especially when placed above the sofa where people gather.

Special Features

  1. Lighting Techniques

Good lighting can dramatically enhance the art you choose to hang above your couch. Consider installing picture or directional ceiling lights that focus on the artwork, highlighting its features and making it a clear focal point. This is definitely a more advanced idea, so make sure to consult with an electrician before tackling this one! 

  1. Gallery Wall Ideas

Many homeowners choose a gallery wall to fill large wall spaces, such as the space above the couch. To create a visually exciting gallery wall, mix and match different sizes and styles of artwork, photos, and decorative items. Plan your layout on the floor before hanging pieces to get an idea of spacing and arrangement. You can go fully eclectic, or you can choose one central theme, such as a color scheme or frame style, to help tie everything together. 

Photo of a person hanging a framed print on the wall

Miscellaneous Ideas

  1. Botanical Prints

Botanical prints bring a touch of nature indoors, creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Group a series of these prints in similar frames for a cohesive look, or mix them with other nature-inspired items for a more eclectic gallery wall behind your sofa.

  1. Pop Art

Pop art adds vibrant color and bold designs to your living room. This style is great for creating a focal point and can set a playful, upbeat tone for the entire room. Pop art makes a strong statement, whether iconic prints or colorful abstracts. This type of art would work best in a space that has other bright and colorful elements as well, to help fully tie the space together. 

  1. Monochrome Themes

For a sleek and sophisticated look, consider a monochrome theme with all your artwork in shades of a single color. This approach can give your living space a modern and cohesive appearance, especially effective in minimalist or contemporary settings. Choosing to display all black and white artwork and photographs is another way to create a subdued display that still has plenty of visual appeal. 

A vintage photo of Chicago's Jackson Park with the Palace of Fine Arts Building from the World's Fair
  1. Children’s Artwork

Showcase your child’s creativity by framing their drawings or paintings to display above the couch. This adds a personal and heartfelt touch to your decor, making the space warm and family-oriented. You can also easily swap out the pieces for new ones as your children create them, allowing the decor to grow and change as they do. 

  1. Nautical Themes

If you love the sea, a nautical theme can be a refreshing choice for your living room. Use artwork that features marine landscapes, ships, or coastal elements. Complement these with rustic wood frames or materials like rope to enhance the maritime vibe. This is also a great idea for beach house decor, bringing the spirit of the sea inside. Discover our beautiful collection of nautical-themed art, perfect for bringing the spirit of the ocean into your home decor.

  1. Inspirational Quotes

Hang framed inspirational quotes or sayings that motivate and uplift your family and guests. Choose typography that matches your room’s style, and consider using a variety of frame styles for an eclectic mix. These pieces can often be found in home stores, or you can commission an artist to create a custom piece just for you. 

  1. Architectural Pieces

As an artwork, incorporate architectural elements like window frames, cornices, or decorative moldings. Depending on the pieces you choose, these can add a touch of vintage or industrial charm.

  1. Ethnic Artifacts

Displaying ethnic artifacts can introduce a story and a slice of different cultures to your home. Whether it’s African masks, Indian tapestries, or Native American pottery, these items bring depth and worldliness to your behind-the-couch decor.

Bring Your Space to Life: Inspiration to Action

Decorating the space behind your couch offers a unique opportunity to express your personality and enhance the comfort and style of your living room. Whether you opt for a striking large-scale painting, a playful gallery wall, or any of the diverse ideas we've discussed, each choice contributes to the overall narrative of your home's design. Successful decor is about creating a space that feels right and resonates with you and your family, not just blindly following trends.

We encourage you to experiment with these styles and arrangements until you discover what best suits your aesthetic and functional needs. Now that you've got 25 creative ideas and essential tips, we'd love to see how you transform your space. Let’s turn those ideas into reality and bring your space to life!

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